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Australia shoots down crocodile hunt plan

Published on Mar 27, 2014 12:50 PM

SYDNEY (AFP) - Australia on Thursday rejected a plan to let big-game hunters shoot crocodiles in the country's tropical north, saying such a scheme risked encouraging "cruel" behaviour.

Under the proposal about 50 crocodile safaris a year would be allowed in the Northern Territory, where the giant reptiles have become increasingly common since they were declared a protected species in 1971.

Australian Environment Minister Greg Hunt said the federal government had considered allowing "trophy hunts" but did not believe they were appropriate.

"My view is that there was a risk of cruel and inhumane treatment," he told reporters. "That was, in my view, inappropriate." Backers of the plan, including the Northern Territory government, argued that about 500 saltwater crocodiles a year were culled in the area anyway, so safaris were just another way of killing them.

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